Childhood & Early Life
Devin Booker was born on October 30, 1996, in Michigan, to an African–American father, Melvin Brooker, and his Mexican–American and Puerto Rican partner, Veronica Gutiérrez. His father was a brilliant young ‘NBA’ player when he met Veronica during on one of his tours for the ‘Continental Basketball Association.’
The couple did not marry but remained on good terms. After Devin’s birth, they decided that they would both take care of Devin, but he mostly stayed with his mother, as his father remained busy with his international basketball career.
Devin spent his early years in Grandville, Michigan, which was a suburb of Grand Rapids. Grandville was a town that was dominated by its white population. Devin visited his father during his summer holidays, in Moss Point, Mississippi, a place that had a significant black population. This proved to be a significant culture shock for young Devin, but he handled it quite well.
While Devin grew up, his father’s lifestyle influenced him greatly. He found a role model in his father and started practicing basketball in school. Devin was immensely attached to his father. Whenever Melvin traveled to other countries for his games, the father–son duo would communicate through e-mails.
Devin soon started attending ‘Grandville High School,’ and Melvin retired from professional basketball to stay closer to his son. Noticing his immense talent, Melvin tried hard to bring his son back to Mississippi permanently. Devin initially refused to go to Mississippi. However, Melvin managed to convince Devin’s mother, and Devin was soon enrolled at ‘Moss Point High School,’ where Melvin was hired as an assistant coach.
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While in high school, Devin exhibited his remarkable sporting talent. In August 2011, Devin scored 17 points in the fifth game of the season, against ‘Gulfport High School.’ His score was higher than the rest of his team combined. He continued to play brilliantly, earning praises from a popular ‘Press-Register’ sportswriter, Creg Stephenson, who wrote that Devin’s average of 22.7 points during the season showed that he had developed to be one of the best players on the coast.
Devin’s performance got better over the years, and his father soon announced that he was contacted by a few ‘NBA’ teams that were interested to acquire Devin. College basketball was to play a crucial role in shaping Devin’s future as a star basketball player. During a ceremony in October 2013, at the ‘Moss Point High School,’ Devin announced that he had been chosen by the ‘University of Kentucky.’
On November 2, 2014, Devin scored 16 points, playing for his college team, against the ‘University of Pikeville.’ With that, he began a great college basketball career, which paved the way for his future career in the sport. In a November match against ‘Montana State,’ Devin scored a season-high 18 points. In the next game, Devin scored 19 points against ‘Texas–Arlington’ to set a new season-high score.
His completed his first season at the university with an average of 10 points and was sure about earning a respectable place in the ‘NBA’ draft which was just around the corner. In April 2015, Devin decided to let go of the remaining years of college and signed up for the ‘NBA’ draft.
In June 2015, he was selected by the ‘Phoenix Suns’ as the 13th overall pick. In his first seven ‘Summer League’ games, Devin averaged more than 15 points per game and proved his mettle. He made his professional ‘NBA’ debut against the ‘Dallas Mavericks’ two days before his 19th birthday. Hence, he became first player in the history of ‘NBA’ to debut at 18 years of age, with at least one year of college basketball experience.
While the first part of his debut season with the ‘Phoenix Suns’ was above average at best, the second part turned out to be much better. In a game against the ‘Sacramento Kings’ in January 2016, Devin scored a season-high 21 points. In another January game against the ‘Indiana Pacers,’ he scored 32 points to become the third-youngest ‘NBA’ player and the youngest ‘Suns’ player to score more than 30 points in a game.
In March, Devin scored 34 points against ‘Miami Heat’ to achieve yet another career milestone and his career’s best performance to date. In the same month, he played in his fifth 30-point game of the season, against the ‘Minnesota Timberwolves.’ By the end of the season, Devin was part of another 30-point game and finished his rookie season with 1,048 points in total. He became the fourth-youngest ‘NBA’ player to score 1,000 points in the first season. He averaged 13.8 points per game.
His stunning performance in his rookie season earned praises from basketball legends such as Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. He ended up at the fourth spot in the race for the 2016 ‘Rookie of the Year’ award.
In a match against the ‘New Orleans Pelicans’ in November 2016, Devin scored a career-high of 38 points, and a few days later, he bettered it by scoring 39 points against the ‘Los Angeles Lakers.’ He became the first ‘Phoenix Suns’ player in 28 years to touch the 38-point mark consecutively in two matches.
In January 2017, he scored 39 points against both the ‘Dallas Mavericks’ and the ‘San Antonio Spurs.’ With that, he became the youngest player in ‘NBA’ history to score 39 points in two consecutive games.
In February 2017, he scored 31 points against the ‘Milwaukee Bucks’ and became the youngest player in ‘NBA’ history to score at least 20 points in 16 consecutive games. Devin ended the season with an average of 22.1 points per game.
In October 2017, he scored 34 points against the ‘Portland Trail Blazers’ to finish his 21st career game with 30+ points. With this, he became the third player in ‘NBA’ history to achieve the feat. In a March 2018 game against ‘Oklahoma City Thunder,’ he scored 39 points. He became the third-youngest player in the history of ‘NBA” to reach 4,000 career points.